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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Telangana: Govt gears up to vaccinate people in high-risk categories

This high-risk category, as announced on Wednesday, includes 20,000 state government accredited journalists too, who will be vaccinated on May 28 and 29.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad |
Updated: May 27, 2021 10:47:29 am
People wait for their turn to be administered the Covid-19 vaccine at a government hospital in Hyderabad. (AP)

The Telangana government has decided to inoculate people falling in high-risk categories who are in constant contact with the general public.

As a strategy, the health department will hold a special vaccination drive covering 7.55 lakh people, identified as people delivering LPG cylinders, petrol bunk staff, fair price shop dealers, auto rickshaw and cab drivers, vendors at vegetables, flower, and fruit markets, vendors at fish and meat markets, and also liquor shop vendors.

This high-risk category, as announced on Wednesday, includes 20,000 state government accredited journalists too, who will be vaccinated on May 28 and 29.

Pharmacists threaten to shut shops if not vaccinated on priority-basis

Meanwhile, the Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association appealed to the state to vaccinate pharmacists on priority or else 25,000 of its members would be forced to shut shop. They said that chemists have been dispensing medicines over the counter despite the dangers and risks of the prevailing pandemic. Even as the staff remains most vulnerable to the viral infection as they closely interact with patients or their attendants at shop counters, they have not been included in the high-risk high-exposure category for inoculation.

In a statement, The Telangana Chemists & Druggists Association (TTCDA) President Sri Ch. Janardhan Rao, said despite the risks, chemists across the country are serving humanity and that their services are nothing less important than that of doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and sanitization workers. “It is logical & moral to vaccinate frontline workers but despite repeated appeals chemists were sidelined for no reason. But now we do not want to put our members at risk and therefore we demand vaccination on priority for all chemists/pharmacists and the support staff. Otherwise, all the chemists will have to join regular lockdown as per the call of AIOCD followed by other trade members,” he said in a press statement. The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has also given a similar call as more than 650 chemists and druggists have succumbed to the coronavirus since last March.

“Injections like remdesivir or tocilizumab were taken under its control by the government, routed through our members but drugs were not made available for our members,” said P Krishna Kumar, acting general secretary of the association.

Telangana CM to hold lockdown review meeting on May 30

In Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will review the ongoing lockdown and coronavirus transmission in the state on May 30. The state cabinet is also scheduled to discuss other issues including agriculture, paddy procurement, availability of seeds and fertilizers, curbing the supply of spurious seeds, etc.

The active coronavirus caseload in Telangana has been on a steady decline in the past few weeks. With 3,762 new infections reported on Wednesday, the state has an active caseload of 38,632 patients. 20 people succumbed to the disease taking the death toll to 3189. As many as 22,046 patients are under treatment in hospitals. According to Dr. G Srinivasa Rao, the director of Public Health, the positivity rate has come down to 4.1 percent, and that the state can expect to come out of the second wave of the pandemic by the end of June. The recovery rate has climbed up to 92.58 percent.

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